The 368 lots reveal a taste for luxury from the Socialist leader, with designer clothes from Jil Sander and Hermes, top hats, moccasins and fine art pieces from around the world.
About 300 people attended the sale at auctioneer Drouot in Paris for a chance to purchase items from Mitterrand’s wardrobe or one of the many gifts from international leaders such as Fidel Castro and Barbara Bush that he’d accumulated during his 14 years in power.
Auction organiser Bénédicte Blondeau-Wattel said most items had price tags of between €20 and €450 (£15 and £335), “so that all the French people who loved Mitterrand can make bids”. But that good intention did not last long in the face of aggressive bidding.
A dark fedora hat, one of Mitterrand’s favourites, fetched a whopping €7,800 (£5,800), 10 times more than its original price. His lawyer’s robe sold for €8,000 (£5,960) and a pair of black velvet slippers embroidered with the French Socialist Party emblem of a red rose went for €1,000 (£744).